Future of winter road maintenance

Tie ja liikenne -magazine interviewed CEO of Arctic Machine, Juha Jääskelä. Here are some highlights of the article.

Digitalization and automation are key words while talking about the future of winter road maintenance

The best winter maintenance is developed in accordance with the needs of the users of the road. Winter road maintenance must be taken care with top quality despite the weather condition. If technology assists the driver to make better decisions it is always a good thing. Information about upcoming weather condition and level of road maintenance makes driving more comfortable and safer.

How the future of winter road maintenance seems?

Digitalization is growing. There is plenty of data about roads, road maintenance and weather, which can be gathered, analysed and provided. Traditionally, information is needed by contractors, but in the future real-time information will be delivered also to road users. Some day information will also be used in autonomous cars.

Focus on developing future road maintenance is to increase the level of automation in the road maintenance truck. First stages how automation appears are functions which assists the driver. These functions help driver to focus on driving when there is less controllers to use. Truck producers are already testing autonomous trucks: https://www.gearbrain.com/autonomous-truck-startup-companies-2587305809.html.

In the future there will be self-driving road maintenance trucks too. Arctic Machine has run succeeded test drives with road maintenance truck which plough and spreader acted autonomously without human hand. Remote access to a spreader was also tested so that spreader was controlled remotely on a computer. This remote access technology is developed by Arctic Machine’s subsidiary Infotripla Oy.

Improving the quality of road maintenance is a significant safety factor that appears as a friction, but also as a factor for reducing environmental load. For an entrepreneur, analytics makes it easier to plan and manage workflow according to road condition. While the level of snow plowing and anti-skid material is automatically determined, also the quality of the work can be kept high. Entrepreneur reaches cost savings when the number of driving loops and amount of anti-skid material is optimized.

Article: Future of winter road maintenance (in Finnish).